76 per cent of the international tech and business leaders believe London can create its first tech company with a $10bn valuation in 2018, according to new research released today from London Tech Week and TechXLR8.
350 technology and business executives involved with Europe’s largest tech festival were asked about the investment, growth opportunities and challenges facing fast-growth businesses in the capital.
There was overwhelming confidence in the success of London’s technology industry, with only 10 per cent arguing that London did not have the tech talent required to scale start-ups into global tech giants.
FinTech retained its position as the dominant tech vertical in the capital. With a third (30 per cent) believing FinTech businesses would attract the most investment in the year ahead. This was followed by cybersecurity (22 per cent), AR/VR (12 per cent) and Smart Cities (12 per cent). With the likes of Funding Circle ($100m) and Digital Shadows ($26m) attracting some of the largest funding rounds in 2017, it is clear the tech community expects investment to continue flowing into these growth sectors for 2018.
Zoe Osmond, Festival Director of London Tech Week, comments, “This survey demonstrates the widespread confidence that 2018 could be the year a London tech company breaks the $10bn valuation milestone. Fueled by substantial investment in key growth verticals, such as FinTech, cybersecurity and AR/VR, London’s change makers continue to break boundaries and drive transformational impact, strengthen the capital’s position as a global tech hub.”
For larger companies and enterprise tech titans, many of whom are represented by the 300 exhibitors at TechXLR8, the anchor event at London Tech Week, 72 per cent expect to see their IT budgets increased in 2018.
This gives enormous opportunities not only for tech innovation in the UK, but the digital disruption of traditional industries. Driven by breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, blockchain and mobile technology, a third (31 per cent) of those surveyed believe that finance will see the most disruption by emerging technologies. This was followed by healthcare (21 per cent) and manufacturing (10 per cent).
Zoe Osmond, Festival Director of London Tech Week, comments, “London Tech Week 2018 will celebrate the change makers – companies, founders and individuals who are driving innovation in London’s fastest growing industry. Across the 250 events held during London Tech Week there is a sense of optimism and determination reflected in these findings.”
Samuel Oakley, Director of TechXLR8, comments, “At TechXLR8, we aim to champion the achievements and success of the world’s leading technology change makers in some of the world’s largest and most profitable industries. Bigger budgets means we can expect the UK to maintain its position as the home of technology innovation in specialisms as diverse as telecoms, cloud computing, blockchain and transportation.”
However, the optimism showed by international tech and business leaders is rooted in a clear recognition of the challenges faced by the industry. Nearly half (47 per cent) of those surveyed felt that cybersecurity and digital privacy was the single biggest challenge facing tech companies in 2018. A quarter (26 per cent) believe that 2018 will be the year questions are asked about the rate and efficiency of digital transformation.
A lack of talent and diversity was also cited as an important challenge for the tech industry to address in the coming year. 14 per cent said it was the biggest problem for tech companies, with AI (39 per cent), big data (24 per cent) and cybersecurity (20 per cent) being the most in-demand of tech professionals.
To address the diversity challenges in tech companies, those surveyed overwhelmingly believe that better training and apprenticeships schemes (60 per cent) is the best way to start improving gender, social and ethnic equality.
London Tech Week, which is delivered by founding partners Knect365, London & Partners and Tech London Advocates, runs from June 11th to June 17th across a series of venues in the capital. TechXLR8, the flagship event of the week, runs from June 12th to June 14th in the ExCel.
To find out more about London Tech Week and register your interest, visit: londontechweek.com (print) / http://bit.ly/2EHSbv7 (online). To Find out more about TechXLR8 and attend as a delegate or sign up for a free visitor ticket, please visit tmt.knect365.com/techxlr8 (print) / http://bit.ly/2stPxob (online)
The full report, London Tech Week’s Industry Insights 2018, is available to download here: